Host Liquor Liability Insurance

What Is Host Liquor Liability?

Liquor insurance for event hosts is an extra layer of protection if you’re hosting an event and selling, serving, or furnishing alcohol but are not typically in the business of doing so. People who are eligible for a host liquor policy include hosts of the following events:

  • Weddings
  • Corporate parties
  • Birthday parties
  • Retirement parties
  • Anniversaries
  • Luncheons or dinners
  • BBQs

In most states, even providing alcohol at an event can expose you to the risk of claims. Liquor liability insurance for event hosts is designed to shield you from these expensive claims so you don’t have to pay entirely out of pocket.

groomsmen cheersing

Do I Need Host Liquor Liability Insurance for Events?

If you are the host of a private event or party involving alcohol, you need special event liquor liability insurance. You could be held responsible for your guests’ actions if you sell, serve, or furnish alcohol at the event you host. These incidents could include:

  • An intoxicated partygoer punches a hole through the wall of the venue
  • A wedding guest has too many drinks at the open bar, drives home intoxicated, and crashes their car through a fence around someone’s property
  • Two employees at a corporate luncheon drink a few too many cocktails and get into a physical altercation, injuring each other

Anyone who suffers bodily injury or property damage by an intoxicated person can sue the person who provided the alcohol. Host liquor liability lawsuits and expenses are substantial and could include criminal charges. Costs sometimes reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Even if you are not found negligent, court costs to defend yourself can be expensive, which is why you need insurance for serving alcohol to safeguard yourself from shouldering these costs alone.

Social Host Liability Laws

Your liability may depend upon your state’s social host liability laws. In some states, these laws are similar to the state’s dram shop laws. In other states, there are no specific regulations; however, those states don’t stop you from being sued by the injured person. For this reason, carrying host liquor liability coverage is a wise choice, even if it’s not explicitly required of you.

There are eighteen states with social host liability laws:
  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • Hawaii
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Missouri
  • New Jersey
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin

There are also nine states with social host liability laws that are only applicable to minors:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Kansas
  • Michigan
  • New Hampshire
  • Utah
  • Wyoming

You are only eligible for host liquor liability insurance if your regular business operations do not involve selling, serving, furnishing, or manufacturing alcohol. If you have a bartending business or if alcohol is part of your business operations, you need a liquor liability insurance policy.

Can I Buy Host Liquor Coverage From Insurance Canopy?

At this moment, Insurance Canopy does not offer a host liquor insurance policy. However, you can purchase this coverage from our trusted partner The Event Helper starting at just $66.

Questions About Host Liquor Liability Coverage

In most cases, yes. However, you should always check your policy or reach out to your agent to confirm that yours includes host liquor coverage. 

Host liquor insurance is a short-term policy for people hosting an event or party where alcohol will be served, sold, or furnished. A candidate for a host liquor policy is an event host who does not otherwise provide alcohol as part of their business operations. For example, if you are throwing your best friend a retirement party at a venue and plan on providing alcoholic beverages there, you would be eligible for host liquor insurance.

Businesses such as bartenders, caterers, and food trucks that sell or serve alcohol need a liquor liability policy because they include alcohol as part of their regular business activities. One example of this would be a wedding catering business that serves alcohol. Because they are not the host of the wedding and they are in the business of providing alcohol, they do not qualify for a host liquor policy.

Learn more about the differences between liquor liability vs host liquor liability insurance.

wine glass and flowers

Need additional information before making a decision?

Give our team a call today at 844.520.6993

Get a Host Liquor Liability Policy from The Event Helper Today

Shield your business from the devastating impact of claims and get the right coverage for your business’ needs with our trusted partner The Event Helper!

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